'Hiring for growth': Demand for staff and opportunities increasing

Thursday 12 December 2013

Now is a great time to work as a contractor through an umbrella or through a UK limited company.

The recent 'Hiring for Growth' member meeting saw specialist recruiters across multiple sectors agree that positivity is increasing in the industry, with demand for staff rising and new opportunities on the horizon.

Giving insight into the latest hiring trends and employer expectations, discussions unearthed that the last three months in particular have seen a marked increase in demand for staff.

Skills are evolving too and Nicole Smart, CIMA's employer relationship managed, noted that "softer skills such as communication and interpersonal skills are becoming increasingly important for successful careers in the professional services sector".

Globalisation is also effecting the talents needed among workers, with language skills in greater demand. This is particularly the case in the legal sector, according to Ms Smart.

Meanwhile, the candidate journey is evolving. Data from CIMA has shown that 25 per cent of those people becoming certified management accountants move into other sectors upon qualifying.

"Individuals are looking for much more flexibility in the career path, which is something that specialist recruiters can facilitate," the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) explained in a statement. "Other examples included people working in HR moving into compliance roles and part-qualified solicitors opting to work in HR."

The need for highly-flexible staff remains the same. However, this increases the need for clarity on personal taxation rules, including IR35 compliance.

Those in attendance at the meeting identified that sectors such as HR and financial services are seeing an increase in the use of interim managers and contractors to drive projects and bring in vital skills at short notice.

With changing regulations, compliance can be a differentiator for recruiters, specifically in financial services, legal and HR.

As part of the REC's 'Good Recruitment Charter' there will be a drive to get employers to de-risk their supply chain, using only fully compliance providers.

Furthermore, changes in multiple sectors are creating new opportunities for recruiters. Speaking at the event, the Law Society's Nick Denys said that 18 per cent of all solicitors now work 'in-house' within large corporations or public bodies, meaning the client market for legal recruiters isn't just limited to law firms.

Going forward, promoting careers in high-demand sectors will remain a priority. Ben Turner from ISMM said his company is just one looking to promote qualifications.

"Training and CPD reflect changing skills and competencies required within the sales arena and recruiters are encouraged to look for these qualifications when sourcing candidates," the REC explained.

This will be important for contractors looking to make themselves as desirable as possible to employers.

"The primary aim of all REC sector groups is to help members make the most of these opportunities and to pre-empt how broad changes across different sectors will impact of future client and candidate needs," the REC continued.

'Hiring for Growth' is a key part of this work and the body claims it has laid the groundwork for moving forward in the new year.

By Victoria McDonnell

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